Photo taken in:ProstejovYear when photo was taken:1933Country name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938Country name today:Czech Republic
This is a photo of me, Michal Maud Beer, née Stecklmacherova. The picture was taken in a park in Prostejov in 1933.
I was born in 1929 in Prostejov, which used to be called "The Jerusalem of Hana." There were "Jewish streets" in the center of town, the way it is in many European towns, which is a sign that our people lived in the town since its beginnings. From early childhood I was aware that we were Jews, even though my family wasn't religious. My parents were Zionists. Father and Grandpa were members of the Zionist organization B'nai Brith, and Mother and Grandma were in WIZO. I remember the Jewish holidays well. One of my first books was "Bible Stories" by Joachim Prinz; that's why I knew and had feelings for the Bible and Israel from earliest childhood.
At the age of four, I began exercising in the Jewish gymnastics organization Maccabi. At the girls' elementary school in Komenskeho Street, I was the only Jewish girl in my class. I differed from my classmates because of my name, and also in that we spoke German at home. Most of the girls were fair-haired, while I was dark. Our Grade 1 teacher, Mrs. Tihelkova, was probably taken aback when to the question what I wanted to be, I replied "A gardener in Palestine."